Some Franks raided Roman territory, while other Frankish tribes joined the Roman troops of Gaul. In times, Franks became the rulers of the northern part of Roman Gaul. The Salian Franks lived on Roman-held soil between the Rhine, Scheldt and Somme rivers in what is now Northern France, the kingdom was acknowledged by the Romans after 357 CE. Following the collapse of Rome in the West, the Frankish tribes were united under the Merovingians, who succeeded in conquering most of Gaul in the 6th century, which greatly increased their power. The Merovingian dynasty, descendants of the Salians, founded one of the Germanic monarchies that would absorb large parts of the Western Roman Empire, the Frankish state consolidated its hold over the majority of western Europe by the end of the 8th century, developing into the Carolingian Empire. This empire would gradually evolve into the state of France and the Holy Roman Empire, in the Middle Ages, the term Frank was used in the east as a synonym for western European, as the Franks were rulers of most of Western Europe.
The Franks in the east kept their Germanic language and became part of the Germans, Flemings, the Franconian languages, which are called Frankisch in Dutch or Fränkisch in German, originated at least partly in the Old Frankish language of the Franks. Nowadays, the German and Dutch names for France are Frankreich and Frankrijk, the name Franci was originally socio-political. To the Romans and Suebi, the Franks must have seemed alike, they looked the same and spoke the same language, so that Franci became the name by which the people were known. Within a few centuries it had eclipsed the names of the tribes, though the older names have survived in some place-names, such as Hesse. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English and it has been suggested that the meaning of free was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation. It is traditionally assumed that Frank comes from the Germanic word for javelin, there is another theory that suggests that Frank comes from the Latin word francisca meaning.
Words in other Germanic languages meaning fierce, bold or insolent, eumenius addressed the Franks in the matter of the execution of Frankish prisoners in the circus at Trier by Constantine I in 306 and certain other measures, Ubi nunc est illa ferocia. Feroces was used often to describe the Franks, contemporary definitions of Frankish ethnicity vary both by period and point of view. According to their law and their custom, writing in 2009, Professor Christopher Wickham pointed out that the word Frankish quickly ceased to have an exclusive ethnic connotation. North of the River Loire everyone seems to have considered a Frank by the mid-7th century at the latest. Two early sources describe the origin of the Franks are a 7th-century work known as the Chronicle of Fredegar. Neither of these works are accepted by historians as trustworthy, compared with Gregory of Tourss Historia Francorum, the chronicle describes Priam as a Frankish king whose people migrated to Macedonia after the fall of Troy
The cicadas are a superfamily, the Cicadoidea, of insects in the order Hemiptera. They are in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha, along with smaller jumping bugs such as leafhoppers and froghoppers and it is divided into the Tettigarctidae, with two species in Australia, and Cicadidae, with more than 1,300 species described from around the world, many undescribed species remain. Cicadas have prominent eyes set wide apart, short antennae, and they have an exceptionally loud song, produced not by stridulation, but by vibrating drumlike tymbals rapidly. The earliest known fossil Cicadomorpha appeared in the Upper Permian period and they typically live in trees, feeding on sap, and laying their eggs in a slit in the bark. Most cicadas are cryptic, singing at night to avoid predators, Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homers Iliad, and as motifs in art from the Chinese Shang dynasty. They have been used in myths and folklore to represent carefree living, Cicadas are eaten in various countries, including China, where the nymphs are served deep-fried in Shandong cuisine.
The name is directly from the Latin cicada, meaning tree cricket, Cicadas are arranged into two families, the Tettigarctidae and Cicadidae. The two extant species of Tettigarctidae include one in southern Australia and the other in Tasmania, the family Cicadidae is subdivided into the subfamilies Cicadinae and Cicadettinae, they are found on all continents except Antarctica. Some previous works included a family-level taxon called the Tibiceninae. The largest species is the Malaysian emperor cicada Megapomponia imperatoria, its wingspan is up to about 20 cm and they are notable for the great length of time some species take to mature. At least 1300 cicada species are distributed worldwide with the majority being in the tropics, most genera are restricted to a single biogeographical region and many species have a very limited range. This high degree of endemism has been used to study the biogeography of complex island groups such as in Indonesia, about 100 species occur in the Palaearctic. A few species are found in southern Europe, and a species is in England, the New Forest cicada, Melampsalta montana.
Most of the North American species are in the genus Neotibicen, the best-known North American genus, however, is Magicicada. These periodical cicadas have a long life cycle of 13 or 17 years. Many of them go by names such as cherry nose, brown baker, red eye, yellow Monday, whisky drinker, double drummer. The Australian greengrocer, Cyclochila australasiae, is among the loudest insects in the world, forty-two species from five genera populate New Zealand, ranging from sea level to mountain tops, and all are endemic to New Zealand and the surrounding islands. Fossil Cicadomorpha first appeared in the Upper Permian, the superfamily Palaeontinoidea contains three families
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius and added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather and he is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. St. Martins tomb was a pilgrimage destination in the 6th century. Gregory was born in Clermont, in the Auvergne region of central Gaul, Gregory had several noted bishops and saints as close relatives, according to Gregory, he was connected to thirteen of the eighteen bishops of Tours preceding him by ties of kinship. Gregorys paternal grandmother, descended from Vettius Epagatus, the martyr of Lyons. His father evidently died while Gregory was young and his mother moved to Burgundy where she had property. Gregory went to live with his paternal uncle St. Gallus, Bishop of Clermont), under whom, Gregory received the clerical tonsure from Gallus. Having contracted an illness, he made a visit of devotion to the tomb of St.
Martin at Tours. Upon his recovery, he began to pursue a career and was ordained deacon by Avitus. Upon the death of St. Euphronius, he was chosen as Bishop by the clergy and people, who had been charmed with his piety, learning and he spent most of his career at Tours, although he assisted at the council of Paris in 577. The rough world he lived in was on the cusp of the world of Antiquity. Gregory lived on the border between the Frankish culture of the Merovingians to the north and the Gallo-Roman culture of the south of Gaul, at Tours, Gregory could not have been better placed to hear everything and meet everyone of influence in Merovingian culture. Tours lay on the highway of the navigable Loire. Five Roman roads radiated from Tours, which lay on the thoroughfare between the Frankish north and Aquitania, with Spain beyond. At Tours the Frankish influences of the north and the Gallo-Roman influences of the south had their chief contact, Gregory struggled through personal relations with four Frankish kings, Sigebert I, Chilperic I, and Childebert II and he personally knew most of the leading Franks.
Gregory wrote in Late Latin which departed from classical usage frequently in syntax, the Historia Francorum is in ten books. At this date Gregory had been bishop of Tours for two years, the second part, books V and VI, closes with Chilperic Is death in 584. During the years that Chilperic held Tours, relations between him and Gregory were tense, after hearing rumours that the Bishop of Tours had slandered his wife, Chilperic had Gregory arrested and tried for treason—a charge which threatened both Gregorys bishopric and his life
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for nearly 300 years in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory largely corresponded to ancient Gaul as well as the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania. The Merovingian dynasty was founded by Childeric I, the son of Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, after the death of Clovis there were frequent clashes between different branches of the family, but when threatened by its neighbours the Merovingians presented a strong united front. During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role, the Merovingian rule ended in March 752 when Pope Zachary formally deposed Childeric III. Zacharys successor, Pope Stephen II, confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, the Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the long-haired kings by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short.
The Merovingian dynasty owes its name to the semi-legendary Merovech, leader of the Salian Franks, the victories of his son Childeric I against the Visigoths and Alemanni established the basis of Merovingian land. Childerics son Clovis I went on to unite most of Gaul north of the Loire under his control around 486, when he defeated Syagrius, the Roman ruler in those parts. He won the Battle of Tolbiac against the Alemanni in 496, at time, according to Gregory of Tours. He subsequently went on to defeat the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in the Battle of Vouillé in 507. After Cloviss death, his kingdom was partitioned among his four sons, leadership among the early Merovingians was probably based on mythical descent and alleged divine patronage, expressed in terms of continued military success. In 1906 the British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie suggested that the Marvingi recorded by Ptolemy as living near the Rhine were the ancestors of the Merovingian dynasty, upon Cloviss death in 511, the Merovingian kingdom included all of Gaul except Burgundy and all of Germania magna except Saxony.
To the outside, the kingdom, even when divided under different kings, maintained unity, after the fall of the Ostrogoths, the Franks conquered Provence. After this their borders with Italy and Visigothic Septimania remained fairly stable, the kingdom was divided among Cloviss sons and among his grandsons and frequently saw war between the different kings, who quickly allied among themselves and against one another. The death of one king created conflict between the brothers and the deceaseds sons, with differing outcomes. Later, conflicts were intensified by the personal feud around Brunhilda, yearly warfare often did not constitute general devastation but took on an almost ritual character, with established rules and norms. Eventually, Clotaire II in 613 reunited the entire Frankish realm under one ruler, divisions produced the stable units of Austrasia, Neustria and Aquitania. The frequent wars had weakened royal power, while the aristocracy had made great gains and these concessions saw the very considerable power of the king parcelled out and retained by leading comites and duces.
Very little is in fact known about the course of the 7th century due to a scarcity of sources, clotaires son Dagobert I, who sent troops to Spain and pagan Slavic territories in the east, is commonly seen as the last powerful Merovingian King
Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, the different species are pyrope, spessartine, grossular and andradite. The garnets make up two solid solution series, pyrope-almandine-spessartine and uvarovite-grossular-andradite, the word garnet comes from the 14th‑century Middle English word gernet, meaning dark red. It is derived from the Latin granatus, from granum, Garnet species are found in many colors including red, yellow, purple, blue, black and colorless, with reddish shades most common. Garnet species light transmission properties can range from the gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the varieties used for industrial purposes as abrasives. The minerals luster is categorized as vitreous or resinous, garnets are nesosilicates having the general formula X3Y23. The X site is occupied by divalent cations 2+ and the Y site by trivalent cations 3+ in an octahedral/tetrahedral framework with 4− occupying the tetrahedra.
Garnets are most often found in the crystal habit, but are commonly found in the trapezohedron habit. They crystallize in the system, having three axes that are all of equal length and perpendicular to each other. Garnets do not show cleavage, so when they fracture under stress, because the chemical composition of garnet varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. As a result, this group shows a range of hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6.5 to 7.5. The harder species like almandine are often used for abrasive purposes, for gem identification purposes, a pick-up response to a strong neodymium magnet separates garnet from all other natural transparent gemstones commonly used in the jewelry trade. Almandine, Fe3Al23 Pyrope, Mg3Al23 Spessartine, Mn3Al23 Almandine, sometimes incorrectly called almandite, is the modern gem known as carbuncle, the term carbuncle is derived from the Latin meaning live coal or burning charcoal. The name Almandine is a corruption of Alabanda, a region in Asia Minor where these stones were cut in ancient times, almandine is an iron-aluminium garnet with the formula Fe3Al23, the deep red transparent stones are often called precious garnet and are used as gemstones.
Almandine occurs in metamorphic rocks like mica schists, associated with such as staurolite, andalusite. Almandine has nicknames of Oriental garnet, almandine ruby, and carbuncle, Pyrope is red in color and chemically an aluminium silicate with the formula Mg3Al23, though the magnesium can be replaced in part by calcium and ferrous iron. The color of pyrope varies from red to black. A variety of pyrope from Macon County, North Carolina is a shade and has been called rhodolite
Cambrai is a commune in the Nord department and in the Hauts-de-France region of France on the Scheldt river, which is known locally as the Escaut river. A sub-prefecture of the department, Cambrai is a town which had 32,518 inhabitants in the Census of 2009 and it is in the heart of the urban unit of Cambrai which, with 47,138 inhabitants, ranks as 7th largest of the department. Its urban area, an extensive range, included 65,986 inhabitants in 2009. With Lille and the towns of the former Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, towards the end of the Roman Empire, Cambrai replaced Bavay as the capital of the land of the Nervii. The bishopric had some limited power and depended on the Holy Roman Empire until annexation to France in 1678. Fénelon, nicknamed the Swan of Cambrai, was the most renowned of the archbishops, the fertile lands which surround it and the textile industry gave it prosperity in the Middle Ages, but in modern times it is less industrialised than its neighbours of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
Cambrai was the Duke of Wellingtons headquarters, for the British Army of Occupation and partly destroyed by the German army during World War I, Cambrai saw unfold in its vicinity the Battle of Cambrai where tanks were massively and successfully used for the first time. A second Battle of Cambrai took place between 8 and 10 October 1918 as part of the Hundred Days Offensive, World War II was followed by reconstructions and a rapidly developing economy and population, abruptly reversed by the 1973 oil crisis. Cambrai today is a city and, despite the past destruction. Cambrai is affirmed as the centre of Cambrésis. Its economic life is strengthened by its position on the local highway. The town of Cambrai is located in the south of the Nord Department, the regional capital of Lille is 52 kilometres away. Cambrai is not very far from several European capitals, Brussels is 108 kilometres, Paris is 160 kilometres, the city was born and developed on the right bank of the Scheldt river. Locally known as the Escaut, the river has its source in the department of Aisne, the Saint-Quentin canal, the Canal du Nord, the A1, A2 and A26 autoroutes all borrow all this passage between the basin of the Seine and the plains of the Nord department.
The chalky subsoil allowed, as in medieval cities, the digging of a network of cellars, tunnels. The poor quality of the Cambrai chalk was reserved for use in the manufacture of lime or filling, for prestigious buildings, stone from the nearby villages of Noyelles-sur-Escaut, Rumilly or Marcoing was used. The city is bordered in its part, as well as to the north. Cambrai is built on the bank of the Scheldt
It covered an area of 190,800 sq mi. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts, Gallia Celtica and Aquitania, during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule, Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, Gallia remains a name of France in modern Greek and modern Latin. The Greek and Latin names Galatia, and Gallia are ultimately derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the supposedly milk-white skin of the Gauls, modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, power, thus meaning powerful people. The English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, as adjectives, English has the two variants and Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls, although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish.
The Germanic w- is regularly rendered as gu- / g- in French, unrelated in spite of superficial similarity is the name Gael. The Irish word gall did originally mean a Gaul, i. e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to foreigner, to describe the Vikings, and still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, by 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads rapidly across the territory of Gaul. The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia, farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans described Gallia Transalpina as distinct from Gallia Cisalpina, while some scholars believe the Belgae south of the Somme were a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements, their ethnic affiliations have not been definitively resolved.
One of the reasons is political interference upon the French historical interpretation during the 19th century, in addition to the Gauls, there were other peoples living in Gaul, such as the Greeks and Phoenicians who had established outposts such as Massilia along the Mediterranean coast. Also, along the southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Ligures had merged with the Celts to form a Celto-Ligurian culture, the prosperity of Mediterranean Gaul encouraged Rome to respond to pleas for assistance from the inhabitants of Massilia, who were under attack by a coalition of Ligures and Gauls. The Romans intervened in Gaul in 154 BC and again in 125 BC, whereas on the first occasion they came and went, on the second they stayed. Massilia was allowed to keep its lands, but Rome added to its territories the lands of the conquered tribes. The direct result of conquests was that by now, Rome controlled an area extending from the Pyrenees to the lower Rhône river
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria was an Austrian military commander, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1647 to 1656, and a patron of the arts. Born at Wiener Neustadt, he was the youngest son of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and Maria Anna of Bavaria, daughter of William V and his elder brother became Emperor Ferdinand III. Leopold Wilhelm served as a general in the Thirty Years War, during the latter, the Spanish-Low Country forces under Leopold Wilhelm lost the Battle of Lens in an attempt to recover the city in 1648. Later in the war, he sallied forth from the Netherlands on two occasions, on the second, he successfully seized a number of northern French forts in February–March 1652, forcing the French to withdraw forces from Catalonia to reinforce their northern frontier. This assisted Spanish forces in Spain in recovering Catalonia from the French-backed Catalan rebellion, even though Leopold Wilhelm lacked the canonical qualifications, he was invested, with the help of his father, with a number of prince-bishoprics in order to provide him with an income.
In 1635, Pope Urban VIII authorised him to become the prince-archbishop of Bremen and he returned to Vienna after the situation in the Spanish Netherlands had deteriorated in 1656. In Vienna he was occupied with the administration of his various bishoprics, the Teutonic Order which he led as Grand Master. After the death of his elder brother Emperor Ferdinand III several electors put him forward for the position of Emperor. However, he stalled to allow his nephew to reach the age to ascend the imperial throne. After devoting himself to the affairs of state, Leopold Wilhelm retired in his final years and he died in Vienna in 1662. With the rank and title of ayuda de camara, Teniers took up his abode in Brussels shortly after 1647. A number of works of the Italian masters, now in the Vienna Museum, came from Leopolds gallery after having belonged to Bartolomeo della Nave, Charles I. He commissioned the British painter John Michael Wright in 1650 to travel to Cromwells England and this expansion of his collection was celebrated by having his most prized pieces engraved in the book Theatrum Pictorium, often called the first art catalog.
When Leopold returned to Vienna, his collection of paintings was relocated to the Stallburg gallery in Hofburg Palace, jan Anton van der Baren, a Flemish priest, who was a first-rate flower painter, became director of the archducal gallery. Leopold bequeathed his gallery to his nephew Leopold I, and it became imperial property and it is now part of the collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Ein Galeria nach meinem Humor, Erzherzog Leopold Wilhelm, Walter A. Flemish paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, media related to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria at Wikimedia Commons
The forest naturally thinned out in the open sandy stretches to the north and formed a barrier—trackless to the outsider—on the heavier soils to the south. The Silva Carbonaria was a vast forest that stretched from the rivers Senne and its northern outliers reached the marshy site of modern Brussels. A great Roman road forming a strategic axis linked the Rhine crossing at Cologne with Maastricht, skirting the northern edges of the Silva Carbonaria, it passed through Tongeren and Cambrai to reach the sea at Boulogne. The highway was the main east–west route in a landscape where the valleys, tributaries of the Meuse. It remained viable through the Early Middle Ages as the chaussée Brunehaut, in the past the Romance-Germanic linguistic division that marks Belgium to this day has been perhaps too facilely linked to these geographic parameters. The Silva Carbonaria is mentioned in the Salic Law of the Franks, extensive tracts of the untamed woodlands belonged to monasteries. The Benedictine Abbey of Lobbes lay in the Silva Carbonaria and that of Saint Foillan, even before the Romans arrived, iron weapons forged in the Silva Carbonaria were traded by the Belgae to their cousins in the southeast of Britain.
In the High Middle Ages further woodlands were cleared, today the most significant remnant of the Silva Carbonaria is the Sonian Forest, preserved because it had been set aside as a noble hunt.21 km². Lexicon Universale, Historiam Sacram Et Profanam Omnis aevi, Charles, La forêt charbonnière, Silva Carbonaria, in Revue dhistoire et darchéologie 3. Genesis and Evolution of the Romance-Germanic Language Border in Europe
The Somme is a river in Picardy, northern France. The name Somme comes from a Celtic word meaning tranquility, the department Somme was named after this river. The river is 245 km long, from its source in the ground of the former Forest of Arrouaise at Fonsommes near Saint-Quentin, to the Bay of the Somme. It lies in the geological syncline which forms the Solent and this gives it a fairly constant and gentle gradient where several fluvial terraces have been identified. The Invasion Fleet of William the Conqueror assembled in the Bay of the Somme at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, the river featured in the 1346 withdrawal of Edward IIIs army, which forded the river at the battle of Blanchetaque during the campaign which culminated in the Battle of Crécy. Crossing the river featured prominently in the campaign led to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The river is famous for the World War I Battle of the Somme from July to November 1916. Aisne, Saint-Quentin Somme, Ham, Péronne, Amiens, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Le Crotoy The river is characterized by a gentle gradient.
The valley is more or less steep-sided but its bottom is flat with fens and these characteristics of steady flow and flooded valley bottom arise from the rivers being fed by the ground water in the chalk basin in which it lies. At earlier, colder times, from the Günz to the Würm the river has cut down into the Cretaceous geology to a level below the water table. The valley bottom has now therefore, filled with water which and this picture, of the source of the Somme in 1986, shows it when the water table had fallen below the surface of the chalk in which the aquifer lies. Here, the flow of water had been sufficient to keep fen from forming and this satellite photograph shows the fenny valley crossing the chalk to the sea on the left. The sinuous length at the centre of the picture lies downstream from Péronne, one of the fens, the Marais de lÎle is a nature reserve in the town of St. Quentin. The traditional market gardens of Amiens, the Hortillonages are on this sort of land, once exploited for peat cutting, the fen is now used for fishing and shooting The construction of the Canal de la Somme began in 1770 and reached completion in 1843.
It is 156 km long, beginning at St. Simon, from St. Simon to Froissy, the canal is alongside the river. Thence to the sea, the river is partly river and partly navigation, from Abbeville, it is diverted through the silted, former estuary, to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, where the maritime canal, once called the canal du Duc dAngoulême enters the English Channel. The St Quentin Canal, famous for the 1918 battle, links the Somme to northern France and Belgium, the Canal du Nord links the Somme to the Oise, at Noyon, thence to Paris. In 2001, the Somme valley was affected by high floods